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Photos: Charging stations as power source, meeting place, and the new face of disaster relief

The roar of generators can be heard throughout lower Manhattan as the area slowly creeps back to life. With the electricity grid still off, these rumbling machines are bringing power to buildings, pumping out flooded basements, or in many cases charging cellphones and other gadgets.

In areas without power, the charging station has become a common sight and a relief to residents. There are tricks to saving your cellphone battery, but the powerless will eventually have to juice up. Large companies like Duracell and Time Warner have turned the power crisis into a marketing opportunity by sending branded wifi and charging station trucks around New York City, while less formal operations are run by churches, politicians, government agencies, and others.
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